Skip to main content

tv   U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  February 23, 2021 4:00pm-5:28pm EST

4:00 pm
level, do you think it would be prudent to make sure that the additional money that we expend to continue to provide that bridge or build that bridge to recovery, should it be spent on things that are truly stimulative? do you see any stimulative value, for example, in money coming from the federal government that ultimately makes it in the bank accounts and not back in the economy on a short-term bae cis? -- basis? >> here on c-span, we continue our over 40-year commitment to live coverage of the u.s. house as they gavel in next for legislative work. with debate on several house bills and votes scheduled for 6:30 p.m. eastern. live coverage on c-span. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to the bill, h.r. 264. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 264.
4:01 pm
a bill to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 1101 charlotte street in georgetown, south carolina, as the joseph hayne rainey memorial post office building. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from maryland, mr. mfumey, and the gentlewoman from south carolina, ms. mace, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland. mr. mfume: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. madam speaker, i am pleased to join my colleagues here in the house in consideration of h.r. 264, to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 1101 charlotte street in georgetown, south carolina, as the joseph hayne rainey memorial post office building. joseph rainey was the first african-american member of the united states house of representatives and one of 14
4:02 pm
black representatives elected before the end of reconstruction in 1877. joseph rainey was born into slavery in georgetown, south carolina, in 1832. his father was a barber and used earnings to buy freedom for himself and his family and, yes, including joseph. later during the civil war, joseph was drafted by the confederacy but he escaped to bermuda and his wife and he there started a business. in 1866, he returned to georgetown where he became the county's republican party chairman. and just a few years later, in 1870, he was elected to the united states congress where he served until 1879. making him the longest serving african-american member of congress in the 19th century. following his time in congress, rainey was appointed as a federal agent of the u.s.
4:03 pm
treasury department, he returned to south carolina in 1886, and unfortunately passed away the following year in georgetown. representative joe rainey fought tirelessly for civil rights, education and economic opportunity for all people. he left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten. and so at the very least, naming a post office in his honor will continually help all of us to remember the contributions of this remarkable trail blazer. i reserve, madam speaker, the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland reserves. the gentlewoman from south carolina is now recognized. ms. mace: thank you, madam speaker. i yield to my friend, the gentleman from south carolina, tom rice for five minutes for his remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized.
4:04 pm
mr. rice: thank you to the gentlelady from the first district of south carolina for yielding. madam speaker, i rise today in support of my bill, h.r. 264, -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. will the gentleman put on his mask, please? the gentleman may proceed. mr. rice: madam speaker, i rise today in support of my bill, h.r. 264, to rename the post office in georgetown, south carolina, the joseph hayne rainey memorial post office. a man, a trailblazer of many firsts, a civil rights pioneer, an american hero that i had never heard of before i got to congress. i first learned of him because his portraits -- his portrait hangs on the walls -- wall in the halls of the house of
4:05 pm
representatives. joseph rainey was the first african-american member of the united states house of representatives. he was born into slavery in georgetown in 1832. his father was a slave, but also a barber. and used his earnings to buy freedom for himself and his family, including joseph. during the civil war, joseph rainey was conscripted into the confederate army. but he escaped to bermuda with his family and built a prosperous business as a barber. in 1866, he returned to georgetown where he became the county's republican party chairman. in 1870, he was elected to the united states congress where he served until 1879. think about that for a moment. the first african-american to
4:06 pm
serve in the united states congress was a former slave and a republican from georgetown, south carolina. his tenure in congress was distinguished by its advancement of civil rights, equality and opportunity for all. he fought against violence and intimidation toward african-americans. in 1879, as reconstruction was ending, he was defeated in his last race for congress. he was one of 14 black representatives elected before the end of construction in 1877. he was the longest-serving african-american member of congress, a record which stood until the 1950's. following his time in congress, rainey was appointed as a federal agent of the united states treasury department for
4:07 pm
the internal revenue service in south carolina. in 1866, he returned to south carolina for good and passed away the following year in georgetown. rainey fought tirelessly for equal rights, education and economic opportunity for all. he left behind a legacy that has improved the lives of generations. not just in south carolina, but across the country. representative rainey's house still stands in historic georgetown. it's located at 921 prince street. it was designated a national historic landmark in 1984. and i had the opportunity to visit just last year. the next time you're close by, stroll by the modest home in downtown georgetown and pause for a moment to marvel at the
4:08 pm
life of an american hero. a man born a slave, a successful entrepreneur, escaped conscription in the civil war, and served as a representative in the united states congress. what a remarkable life. it was a privilege to introduce this bill that honors a true american patriot like mr. rainey. all south carolinians, all americans can look up to joseph rainey as a trailblazer of civil rights. i'd like to thank lorna rainey, the great-grand daughter of joseph rainey, for her -- great-granddaughter of joseph rainey, for her support in this effort. i also want to thank representative clyburn and representative mace who helped move this through committee and bring it to the floor, along with the entire south carolina house delegation for their co-sponsorship of this bill.
4:09 pm
this is a much-deserved honor for an accomplished american patriot from south carolina, joseph rainey. i urge my colleagues to vote yea and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from reserves. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from maryland. mr. mfume: thank you, very much, madam speaker. i would like to yield at this time five minutes to the distinguished gentleman from north carolina, mr. butterfield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: thank you, madam speaker. and thank you, mr. mfumey, for yielding time. and thank you, mr. rice, for introducing this legislation. madam speaker, when i was first elected to congress, i visited congressman clyburn's office seeking his assistance with committee assignments. while there, i noticed the pictures of eight former south carolina congressmen, all african-american, hanging prominently in his outer office. among those was joseph rainey, the first african-american elected to the u.s. house of
4:10 pm
representatives. i was unaware of mr. rainey and so i became curious about this man. joseph rainey was born to enslaved parents on june 21, 1832, in georgetown, south carolina. a community heavily dominated with slaves. as the years went on, joseph rainey's father was permitted by his master to work independently and save a little money. using his accumulated funds, edward rainey purchased freedom for little joseph and his family. when president lincoln was elected in 1860, 11 states seceded from the union. south carolina was the first. a civil war erupts. joseph reigny, now 28 years of age, was -- rainey, now 28 years of age, was drafted to work on fortifications in charleston. this was unacceptable to joseph and so with his family he escaped to st. george, bermuda. madam speaker, st. george is a small parish on the island of bermuda. while there, rainey undoubtedly became acquainted with my
4:11 pm
grandfather, james peter butterfield, born 1853, who lived his entire life in st. george. on december 6, 1865, the 13th amendment was added to the constitution, ending slavery in america. 400,000 slaves in south carolina are free. 37,000 in charleston. 32,000 in bufford. 18,000 in georgetown. the same year, the civil war ended, south carolina desires to be re-admitted to the union. as a condition, south carolina was required to adopt a constitution that repudiated secession, acknowledged the end of slavery and repudiated debts that the state and its white citizens had incurred. the south carolina constitutional convention convened on january 14, 186, a very prominent delegate to the convention was joseph h. rainey. the convention's minutes, madam speaker, reflect that rainey advocated for free public
4:12 pm
education for all south carolina citizens. he advocated for relieving white landowners of their insurmountable debt that had accumulated during the war. the convention was successful, a new constitution was adopted and on july 9, 1868, south carolina was readmitted to the union. joseph rainey was recognized for his brilliance during the convention. the following year, 1869, congress passed 15th amendment, granting the former slaves the right to vote and hold office. on february 3, 1870, the 15th amendment was finally ratified by the states. joseph rainey seized the opportunity, ran for congress in the first district, elected on december 12, 1870, congressman rainey remained a member of this body until after president hayes ended reconstruction which gave rise to violence against african-americans. though rainey was re-elected in 1876, he did not seek office
4:13 pm
again, making him the longest serving african-american congressman during reconstruction. madam speaker, this is a remarkable story. i appreciate mr. rice and mr. clyburn and the entire south carolina delegation for offering this legislation to name the post office located at 1101 charlotte street in georgetown as the joseph h. rainey memorial post office building. i thank you for listening. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from maryland reserves. the gentlewoman from south carolina is recognized. ms. mace: thank you, madam speaker. i have no further speakers and am prepared to close. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. mfume: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on h.r. 264. at this time, madam speaker -- the speaker pro tempore:
4:14 pm
without objection. mr. mfume: i'd like to yield as much time as he may consume to the gentleman from south carolina, the distinguished whip of the house of representatives, mr. clyburn. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is now recognized. mr. clyburn: thank you very much, madam speaker. i thank the gentleman from maryland for yielding me this time. madam speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 264, which will designate the post office located on charlotte street in georgetown, south carolina, as the joseph hayne rainey post office building. i am proud to join with the bill's lead sponsor, congressman tom rice, and the other members of the south carolina congressional delegation in co-sponsoring this important legislation. this action builds on our efforts in the last congress to honor the life and legacy of joseph rainey, by naming h.
4:15 pm
150, the former house committee on indian affairs room in the cap top -- capitol in his honor. there are just two of the long -- those are -- these are just two of the long overdue actions needed to amplify the historical significance of the first african-american to serve in the united states house of representatives. congressman rainey was a trailblazer whose story and place in history has been overlooked. as a former history teacher who believes knowing our history is instructive, so that we won't repeat the mistakes of our past , i would like to share with you my fellow south carolinian's legacy. joseph rainey, as you heard, was born enslaved in 1832 in georgetown, south carolina. his father was able to buy his
4:16 pm
family's freedom with earnings he made as a barber. as a friedman living in charleston -- freedman living in charleston, rainey was conscripted by the confederacy in 1862. rather than fighting to preserve slavery, he and his family fled to bermuda where he worked as a barber until the end of the war. rainey returned to south carolina after the civil war and served, as you heard, as a delegate to the 1868 south carolina constitutional convention. he was elected to the state senate in 1870. later that year, he was elected to congress in a special election and was sworn into congress on december 12, 150
4:17 pm
years ago. becoming the first black to serve in the house of representatives. he was the first of several african-american members of this body during reconstruction . from the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments enforced however imperfectly by the power of the federal government. but reconstruction was short lived. jim crow laws and white sprim cysts dismantled -- supremacists dismantled voting rights, violent insurrection. federal troops were withdrawn from the south. following widespread white supremacy violence during the
4:18 pm
1876 election and the subsequent election of rutherford b. hayes as president. joseph rainey spoke out against the removal of federal protection of voting rights. but in 1878, he lost re-election to former confedderate -- confederate officer richardson in a district, that was like south carolina, majority black. severe gerrymandering reduced the number of black south carolinians in congress to one. in the 1890's, he lost his bid for re-election in 1897, south carolina's representation in congress was, again, all white and remained all white for the
4:19 pm
next 95 years. segregation and black disenfranchisement were the law of the land until the 1960's. but thanks to the voting rights act of 1965 and its 1982 amendments, i was elected to this august body in 1992. today, congress is still grappling with racial issues, voter suppression, and as we witnessed last month, domestic terrorism. it is fitting and proper that we are taking this step as we're celebrating black history month. i believe we will do well to learn some of the lessons of american history through joseph rainey's experiences, and i hope today's action will help
4:20 pm
illuminate his story and cause us all to reflect on his legacy. we must not allow the progress we have made to racial equity since the 1960's retrogress as it did after the 1860's. to truly honor the contributions of joseph rainey and all african-americans, we must build on his progress by working together to address our country's long standing racial inequities and fulfill the promise of liberty and justice for all. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina yields back. the gentleman from maryland reserves. the gentlewoman from south carolina is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. i have no further speakers and i am prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. it's a real honor to be here
4:21 pm
today, and the distinguished whip is correct to recognize joseph rainey and his accomplishments. he fought tirelessly for civil rights and education and opportunity. he fought for freedom, for every working american in this country, and to be here today in black history month to recognize his legacy and legend, he will not be forgotten and we ensure that today. ms. mace: and i hope south carolinians and those across the country can be inspired by his courageous leadership here in this house. and i urge my colleagues to support this bill today, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from maryland is now recognized. mr. mfume: madam speaker, thank you very much. i just want to make sure that i mention my appreciation to the gentleman from south carolina, mr. clyburn, and the gentleman from north carolina, mr. butterfield, for the way they succinctly captured a great
4:22 pm
swath of american history over a period of time that followed lincoln's signing of the emancipation proclamation in 1863 all the way up to the beginning of the black codes and the failing of reconstruction, an era that held great hope for this country but did not come to pass. and really was not evidence until many, many decades later, as mr. clyburn pointed out. so i'm happy and honored to bring this measure forward. i want to thank the gentlewoman from south carolina for all of her efforts, and the gentleman, mr. rice -- is he still on the floor? for their work in advancing this. and madam speaker, i will urge strongly the passage of h.r. 2 64 -- 264 and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 264. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
4:23 pm
in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? mr. mfume: madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to the bill h.r. 772. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 772, a bill designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 229 minnetonka avenue south in wayzata, minnesota, as the jim ramstad post office. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from maryland, mr. mfume, and the gentlewoman from south carolina, ms. mace, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland. mr. mfume: thank you, madam speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and
4:24 pm
extend their remarks and include extraneous material on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mfume: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mfume: madam speaker, i am pleased to join my colleagues in consideration of h.r. 772, to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 229 minnetonka avenue south in wayzata, minnesota, and i hope i'm pronouncing that correctly, as the jim ramstad post office. jim ramstad was born in jamestown, north dakota, on may 6, 1946. he was a graduate of the university of minnesota and the george washington law school. as well as being a member of the army reserve from 1968 until 1974. jim became a state senator in 1981, and there he began shaping
4:25 pm
his personal and political life around the principles of recovery, honesty, resilience, transparency, and accountability. jim ramstad would then go on to serve in the minnesota state senate for 10 years before ultimately becoming a member of this body, the united states house of representatives, representing minnesota's third district. in the congress, he was a consensus builder, championing the bipartisan policies needed to reduce discrimination against those suffering from mental health and addiction problems. his signature legislation, the paul wellstone health treatment act, was enacted in 2008 just before jim retired from congress. after retiring, he served as a fellow at harvard university and as an advisor to minnesota's hazelton treatment center. representative ramstad lived the
4:26 pm
final 30 years of his life -- 39 in absolute and complete sobriety. his story is the story of recovery, impacted in a way that many of us will not understand but impacting the lives of minnesotans and americans. he died november 5, 2020, after battling parkinson's disease for sometime. and so naming a post office for jim ramstad is an entirely appropriate measure, given his distinguished political career to his state and to his country. i reserve at this time, madam speaker, the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from south carolina is recognized. ms. mace: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. mace: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 772, a
4:27 pm
bill that would name a minnesota post office after jim ramstad. from 1968 to 1974, jim ramstad served as a member of the army reserve. in 1981, he was selected -- was elected to the minnesota state senate where he would go on to serve for 10 years. he was then elected to the u.s. house of representatives where he represented minnesota's third congressional district. during his time in congress, he strived to reduce discrimination against those suffering from mental health and addiction problems. he retired from congress in 2009 and went on to serve as a fellow at harvard university. and as an advisor to minnesota's hazelton treatment center. i ask my colleagues to support this bill, honoring an inspiring person. i yield back the balance. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from maryland is now recognized. mr. mfume: thank you, madam speaker. i'd yield at this time as much time as he might consume to the
4:28 pm
distinguished gentleman from minnesota, mr. phillips. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is now recognized. mr. phillips: thank you to my friend from maryland. madam speaker, i rise today in support of my bill, h.r. 772, to designate the post office in, and i'll say it slowly, wayzata, minnesota, on the shores of lang minnetonka, as the jim -- lake minnetonka, as the jim ramstad post office. he spent 10 years representing the 42nd district in the minnesota legislature and 18 years representing minnesota's third district in this chamber. as the current representative from minnesota's third, i'm humbled to have followed in the footsteps of such a gentleman, a public servant, and statesman. throughout his life in public service and throughout his entire life, jim led with principle, with compassion, and with grace. and his battle with and recovery from alcoholism gave voice to millions of americans facing the very same challenge and
4:29 pm
illuminated every aspect of his life and his service. from the state house to this house, jim embodied the spirit of honesty, resilience, transparency, and accountability. he was a noted consensus seeker and a champion of bipartisan policies to reduce discrimination against those suffering from mental health challenges and addiction. and his signature legislation, the paul wellstone mental health treatment act, was enacted in 2008, just before his retirement from congress. congressman ramstad would go on to continue his service as a fellow at harvard university and an advisor to minnesota's hazelton treatment center, and lived the final 39 years of his life in sobriety. he passed away on november 5 of last year, 2020, after a battle with parkinson's disease. now, naming a post office in wayzata is a small gesture to commemorating the passing of a giant of minnesota politics, but as jim's former district
4:30 pm
director, paul anderson, told me, jim loved wayzata and wayzata always loved jim back. so i send my love to jim's wife kathryn, and to all his family and friends and colleagues who continue to mourn his loss. may his memory be for a blessing, may his spirit and legacy of bipartisanship, and i note that jim was a republican and i am a democrat, may that spirit of bipartisanship inspire this congress and may his name grace the post office in the town he loved and the town that loved him back for generations to come. thank you, madam speaker. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. mfume: thank you very much, madam speaker. i want to thank the gentleman from minnesota, mr. phillips, for his leadership on this effort and for his leadership in the house and for reminding me, especially, that the post office will reside in wayzata, appropriately so. thank you, sir. madam speaker, i don't know if
4:31 pm
the other side still reserves time or -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has the only time remaining. mr. mfume: thank you very much, madam speaker. i don't have any other speakers on this side. i would just take a moment, again, to urge passage of this legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 772. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? mr. mfume: madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to the bill, h.r. 813. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill.
4:32 pm
the clerk: h.r. 813. a bill to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 1050 sunset road southwest in albuquerque, new mexico, as the jose hernandez post office building. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from maryland, mr. mfume, and the gentlewoman from south carolina, ms. mace, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland. mr. mfume: thank you very much, madam speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material s on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mfume: madam speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mfume: madam speaker, i'm pleased to join my colleagues in consideration of h.r. 813, to designate the facility of the united states postal service at 1050 sunset road in southwest albuquerque, new
4:33 pm
mexico, as the jose hernandez post office building. jose hernandez was born in 1971 in arizona. he enlisted in the army after graduating from arizona state university and was stationed in germany. in 2003, he deployed to iraq for one year. and when he was discharged from the army, mr. hernandez moved to new mexico with his wife and continued his career in public service at the u.s. postal service. new mexicans on his mail route remember the days when they were in a rush and mr. hernandez would quickly go through his mail bag, just to get them their mail before they had to rush on their way. and they remembered the slower days, when he would join them for a short chat or simply sit for a moment to enjoy the weather. in april of 2019, letter carrier jose hernandez was
4:34 pm
tragically killed while protecting a mother in an argument with her son. mr. hernandez intervened to try to peacefully end the dispute but was instead shot and killed by the young man. mailboxes along his former route quickly became memorials, while his colleagues made their own memorial at his former post office. and so naming a post office after this distinguished public servant who gave his life in the line of duty trying to protect an innocent woman i think is the very least that this body can do. and on that note, madam speaker, i will reserve at this moment the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from south carolina is recognized. ms. mace: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. mace: thank you, madam speaker.
4:35 pm
i rise in support of h.r. 813, a bill that would name an albuquerque, new mexico, post office after jose hernandez. mr. hernandez enlisted in the army after graduating from arizona state university and was then stationed in germany and deployed to iraq in 2003. after his discharge from the army, jose hernandez moved to new mexico and began working at the u.s. postal service as a civil engineer and letter carrier. in 2019 he was trangically killed while protecting a mother in a domestic dispute. he intervened to try to peacefully end the fight but was shot by the woman's son. his hometown mourns his tragic loss. and i urge my colleagues today to support this legislation honoring a true american hero. madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from maryland is now recognized. mr. mfume: madam speaker, thank you. i would yield at this time to the distinguished gentlewoman
4:36 pm
from new mexico for as much time as she may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new mexico is now recognized. >> madam speaker, thank you. and i thank the gentleman from maryland for yielding. madam speaker, i rise today to honor jose hernandez, a beloved letter carrier and local hero who was killed on the job in 2019. ms. haaland: while trying to resolve an argument along his route. residents who live along his route remember jose as the type of letter carrier who would go above and beyond the call of duty. his shocking death was devastating for our community and more than a year later we continued to mourn the loss. to honor his legacy, i introduced a bill to rename his old workplace in his honor. jose hernandez has served proudly in the army, he has four beautiful children, and a loving wife, nicki. he served the albuquerque area, he was -- area u.s. postal service for 12 years. our letter carriers and postal workers shouldn't have to worry
4:37 pm
about their safety when they go to work. those who will see jose's name on the five points post office will remember him as the hero that he was, who went above and beyond his duty. for these reasons and many more, i am thankful first for the entire new mexico delegation for their support, and for chairwoman maloney and chairman raskin's swift work to move my bill that will name the post office at 1050 sunset road southwest in albuquerque to the floor and i urge my colleagues to vote in favor of h.r. 813, honoring mr. hernandez. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from maryland is now recognized. mr. mfume: thank you, madam speaker. i have no other speakers on this side. i do want to thank the gentlewoman from new mexico for being here, as the secretary-designate of the interior department. this is a confirmation day.
4:38 pm
so to be both places at the same time is very important and i think it underscores her real heartfelt appreciation with respect to this legislation and its passage. and so having said that, i would yield back and urge passage of h.r. 813. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 813. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? mr. mfume: madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to the bill, h.r. 208. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 208.
4:39 pm
a bill to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 500 west main street, suite 102, in tupelo, mississippi, as the colonel carlyle "smitty" harris post office. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from maryland, mr. mfume, and the gentlewoman from south carolina, ms. mace, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland. mr. mfume: thank you, madam speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mfume: madam speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mfume: thank you, madam speaker. i am pleased to join my colleagues in consideration of h.r. 208, to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 500 west main street, suite 102, in tupelo, mississippi, as the colonel carlyle "smitty" harris
4:40 pm
post office. smitty harris entered the air force on january 2, 1951, and served through the rank of sergeant before being commissioned. he retired from the air force in 1979 as a colonel. in his career, he flew fighter aircraft and was an instructor and operations officer and a member at the air war college. on april 4, 1965, just the week before his 36th birthday, he was on a combat mission over north vietnam to bomb a bridge. smitty was successful in determining to destroy the bridge, which he did, but his f-105 fighter plane was hit and smitty was forced to bail out over north vietnam. he was captured immediately and spent the next eight years as a prisoner of war in various prisons where he was confined,
4:41 pm
mistreated and tortured. he is credited with introducing the tap code to p.o.w.'s so they could communicate between their cell walls. during his distinguished air force career, smitty earned two silver medals, three legion of merits, the distinguished flying cross, two bronze stars for valor, and two purple hearts and two air medals as well. smitty retired from the air force in august of 1879 and entered directly into the university of mississippi school of law, joining the mississippi bar in december of 1981. his post-air force employment included banking law and marketing. in october, 2012, colonel harris was awarded the lifetime achievement award from the air force association. tupelo, mississippi, is the home to smitty and to louise,
4:42 pm
their two daughters and a son born in okinawa shortly after smitty was shot down. his spouse resides there as well as others in his family and tupelo. so we are urging today an extra honor for smitty harris, a true american, by naming this postal facility after him, and on that point, madam chair, i would reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from south carolina is recognized. ms. mace: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. mace: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 208 today, a bill to name a mississippi post office for carlyle "smitty" harris. smitty harris enlisted in the air force in 1951 and would later go on to serve for 28 years as a pilot, instructor, operations officer and faculty
4:43 pm
member at the air war college. in 1965, on a combat mission over north vietnam, smitty's f-105 was struck and he was forced to bail out over north vietnam where he was captured. he penalty is the next eight years as a prisoner of war where he was confined in various prisons and tortured. during his time in prison, he's known for creating the tap code which p.o.w.'s used to communicate secretly between cells. after nearly eight years as a prisoner of war, he returned home to the u.s. and to his loving family. his son called him his hero and role model. but the truth is, he's every american's hero. he's earned numerous medals and accolades for his heroic service on behalf of our nation. those include two silver star medals, three legion of merits, the distinguished flying cross, two bronze stars for valor, two purple hearts and two air medals. i urge my colleagues today to support this legislation in recognition of this great
4:44 pm
american hero. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from maryland is recognize the. -- recognized. madam speaker madam speaker -- mumemume madam speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: -- mr. mfume: madam speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady is recognized. ms. mace: thank you. i yield to mr. trent kelly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi is now recognized. jerry kelly madam speaker, thank you for -- mr. kelly: madam speaker, thank you for allowing me to speak today to designate a post office for colonel carlyle "smitty" harris, my friend. madam speaker, he served with one of our colleagues and friends here, mr. sam johnson, and was in the hanoi hilton with him for much of the time they shared together. i have this long speech written, but i want to talk about who carlyle "smitty" harris is. he's smitty to all his friends. would you never know that he was a lawyer. you would never know he was a pilot. you would never know that he was a retired colonel. he is such a gentleman and such
4:45 pm
a role model for our entire community. his family are key people in the tupelo area. smitty was shot down and spent almost eight years in the hanoi hilton. during that time, he had learned many, many years ago from a sergeant about a tap code they used to communicate in world war ii, and being one of the first 10 or 12 prisoners in the hanoi hilton, they separate them so they couldn't communicate. smitty taught this to all the other members when they came in so, they could communicate when they were separated and segregated as prisoners. . you would think eight years serving in the hanoi hilton you would be bitter, when you were tortured you would want to torture or be mean to others but not smitty harris. he is the gentleman of all gentlemen. he took it and now he uses his
4:46 pm
faith and all the strength that he gained from all those years being away from the people and the things that he loved and he is not necessarily happy about it but he's so content with his life and he passes on the lessons that he learned. i think back when i went to the governor's mansion years ago and i had at the time 17-year-old son, and smitty spent about 2 1/2 hours on a tour bus with my son talking to him about life, about what it meant to be a man. there's not enough words to describe what smitty harris has done to this nation. he's a true hero, just like our former colleague and friend, sam johnson, was. these guys gave their best to this nation during the vietnam war, during their captivities, but he continues to give to his community even today. and with that, madam chair, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. mfume: thank you very much,
4:47 pm
madam speaker. i will yield myself such time as i may consume. and then yield back. i want to thank the distinguished gentleman for his remarks. and i want to thank him for his service, as well. the distinguished gentleman also is major general of the army national guard element joint force in mississippi. we don't take that lightly. we appreciate all you've done. and i appreciate you calling on the name of sam johnson, whom i served previously with in this body. i went to the hanoi hilton as a tourist and stood there in pain, looking at what he and senator mccain and so many others went through in that facility. i mean, it just -- it brings you back to earth. and sometimes we take lightly the service. sometimes we take lightly the fact that some of our service men -- servicemen were captured.
4:48 pm
and sometimes we take lightly the fact that war can happen anytime and when it does happen, we hope that it will continue to always bring out the best in all of us. so i want to thank you. it's my pleasure to stand here and to give these remarks from our side of the aisle about smitty. i talk about him as if i know him, but when i read about him, i feel like i do know him. so my thanks to you, and my thanks to the gentlewoman from south carolina for leading this discussion on the other side. madam chair, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from south carolina is recognized. ms. mace: thank you, madam speaker. i have no further speakers, and i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. mace: madam speaker, i urge my colleagues today to support this bill, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from maryland. mr. mfume: i have no further speakers.
4:49 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 208. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended -- pursuant to section 3-f of house resolution 8, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postponed.
4:50 pm
the speaker pro tempore: for
4:51 pm
what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: madam speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 546. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 546, a bill to regulate monitoring of electronic communications between and incarcerated person in a bureau of prisons facility, and that person's attorney or other legal representative, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, and the gentleman from north carolina, mr. bishop, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas. ms. jackson lee: madam speaker, the first thing i'd like to do is to thank our distinguished chair of the democratic caucus, mr. jeffries, for working with us and moving forward on this bill, along with the chairman of the full committee, mr. nadler. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. jackson lee: and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
4:52 pm
ms. jackson lee: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. jackson lee: h.r. 546, the effective assistance of counsel in the digital era act, requires the federal bureau of prisons to establish a system that ensures the confidentiality of all privileged electronic communications between incarcerated individuals and their attorneys or legal representatives. h.r. 546 is identical to bipartisan legislation sponsored by representative hakeem jeffries last congress. last september, the house approved this bill by voice vote. however, the senate failed to take up the measure prior to adjournment. as we move forward today, i hope that the house will approve this bill with broad support, again, so that the senate will take swift action and president biden can sign this much-needed proposal into law. h.r. 546 addresses important constitutional protections for criminal defendants, many of these -- all of these that i
4:53 pm
support. the sixth amendment to the united states constitution provides the right to counsel, to assist in the defense of those accused of criminal offenses. in order to represent their clients in an effective manner, defense attorneys must have the ability to communicate candidly with their clients. the attorney-client privilege, which keeps communications between individuals and their attorneys confidential, exists in part to foster open communications. this privilege is a fundamental component of the effective assistance of counsel guaranteed by the constitution. of course, this privilege does not protect communications between a client and an attorney made in furtherance of or in order to cover up a crime or fraud, also known as the crime-fraud exception. we understand that. outside of any custody setting, defendants are less constrained in their ability to have candid conversations with their attorney. generally, out of custody
4:54 pm
defendants can go to their attorney's offices, speak with them freely on the phone, or send written or electronic correspondence without fear of interference or monitoring. to an extent in-custody defendants have these protections. for example, in the federal system bureau of prisons, regulations ensure that inmates can meet with their attorneys without auditory supervision. current regulations also allow confidential phone calls and letters between inmates and their attorney. but the same protections do not apply to email communications for the nearly 152,000 individuals currently in federal custody. including those in pre-trial detention who've not been convicted of any crime. i know that my colleagues can see that that is definitely, definitively a denial of the civil rights, civil liberties and the criminal justice rights that these individuals should have access to. h.r. 546 would ensure that all
4:55 pm
communications between attorneys and their clients remain confidential, including emails. over a decade ago, the federal bureau of prisons recognized the growing importance of email, which is important in providing efficient and swift communication between inmates and individuals on the outside. since 2009, bureau of prison inmates have been able to access email through a system known as true link. however, true link requires inmates and their contacts to consent to monitoring of all communication, even email exchanges between inmates and their attorneys. that, i think, we all understand is unfair. during the last decade, email has grown rapidly and a primary means of communication between inmates and their attorneys. during the current pandemic, emails have become even more important, given how difficult it is for attorneys to meet with their clients. without appropriate safeguards, the bureau of prisons risks severely hindering the representation of inmants by
4:56 pm
limiting -- inmates by limiting attorney-client privilege for electronic communications. this bill would ask the bureau to implement an adequate system to ensure these attorney-client communications remain confidential. again, constitutional provision or principle of the right to counsel. h.r. 546 also includes additional protections, including the requirement that the contents of electronic communications be destroyed when an inmate is released from prison, as well as authorizing the suppression of evidence attained or derived from access to information that is in violation of the provisions set forth in the bill. this is an important bill. it's time -- its time is now. i commend our colleague, representative jeffries, for his effort and leadership in developing this bipartisan legislation. this proposal has already received broad support by the house during the last congress and now we must act swiftly to
4:57 pm
see it enacted into law. moving to the united states senate and seeing the united states senate act quickly for it to be signed by president joe biden. i urge all of my colleagues to join us in support of this bill today. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina. mr. bishop: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today in support of h.r. 546, the effective assistance of counsel in the digital era act. this bill will modernize our criminal justice system by extending attorney-client privilege to electronic communications sent or received through the bureau of prisons' email system. this will ensure that incarcerated individuals can communicate with their attorneys efficiently and privately, as it should be. under the legislation, the bureau of prisons will be prohibited from monitoring privileged email communications between incarcerated individuals
4:58 pm
and that individual's attorney. the attorney-client privilege is a vital component of our legal system that ensures a criminal defendant has an effective advocate in the courtroom. emails between incarcerated individuals and their attorneys should fall under the attorney-client protections. but currently that is not the case. this bill will protect the rights of incarcerated men and women to speak openly and honestly with their attorney via email without fear the prosecution is monitoring those communications. other methods of communications, such as in-person meetings and letters, can be particularly burdensome and time consuming. even if an attorney is near the incarcerated client, it can take hours to travel to a detention facility and visit with the client. h.r. 546 requires the attorney general to ensure that b.o.p.'s email system excludes the contents of electronic communications between an
4:59 pm
incarcerated person and his or her attorney from the current email monitoring process. the bill stipulates that the protections and limitations associated with the attorney-client privilege, including the crime fraud exception, applied to the electronic communications sent or received from the b.o.p. system. it will be allowed to retain electronic communications until the incarcerated person is released, but the bill spes fiez that the contents may -- specifies that the contents may only be accessed under limited circumstances. finally, h.r. 546 allows the court to suppress evidence obtained or derived from access to retained -- the retained emails if the emails were accessed in violation of the act. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting h.r. 546. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas. ms. jackson lee: it's my pleasure at this time to yield
5:00 pm
four minutes to the distinguished gentleman from new york, the sponsor and author of this bill, the chairman of the democratic caucus, mr. hakeem jeffries. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is now recognized for four minutes. mr. jeffries: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the distinguished gentlelady, my friend from texas, for her tremendous leadership on so many criminal justice issues, including with respect to this particular piece of legislation, and i thank the distinguished gentleman from north carolina, mr. bishop, for his support, as well. . i rise to support h.r. 546, a critical bipartisan bill to protect the constitutional right to effective representation. this legislation passed the house last congress and i urge my colleagues to pass it once again today. the sixth amendment to the constitution provides that in
5:01 pm
all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the assistance of counsel for his or her defense. an attorney must be fully informed about the facts of the case in order to effectively represent a client and provide the best possible legal advice and guidance. that is why confidential communication between attorneys and their clients is so critical and why the attorney-client privilege must be protected. in lander vs. new york, the supreme court stated that even in a jail, or perhaps especially there, the relationships which the law has endowed with particular -- particularized confidentiality must continue to receive unceasing protext. there are nearly 124,000 individuals currently in b.o.p.
5:02 pm
dust di, many of whom are in pretrial detention and have not been convicted of a crime. in our system, defendants, american citizens, are innocent until proven guilty. like any person involved in a criminal proceeding, these individuals who are incarcerated must be able to confidentially communicate with their attorneys. the bipartisan effective assistance of counsel in the digit at era act would enable incarcerated individuals to communicate with their legal representatives privately, safely and efficiency. by prohibiting the bureau of prisons from monitoring privileged electronic communications. while b.o. perform regulations do protect the confidentiality of in-person attorney visits, phone calls, and traditional mail, no such protections exist
5:03 pm
in the context of email communications sent through the b.o.p.'s electronic mail system. this system, known as true links, has become the easiest, fastest, most efficient method of communication available to incarcerated individuals and their attorneys. let's consider the alternatives. even a brief client visit can take hours when you factor in travel and wait times. confidential phone calls are perhaps useful but they are subject to time limitations. and can be difficult to schedule even for urgent legal matters. postal mail must first be opened and inspected by staff for physical contraband which can significantly extend the time it takes for the communication to reach an incarcerated individual. these delays should be
5:04 pm
unnecessary in a prison system that permits electronic communications and would be available if the attorney-client privilege for consistently applied. to address the serious problem, h.r. 546 would require the attorney general to ensure that the bope mail system excludes if monitoring the contents of electronic communications between an incarcerated person and their attorney. will the gentleman -- the gentlelady yield an additional minute? ms. jackson lee: i'm happy to yield the gentleman from new york an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute. mr. jeffries: the b.o.p. would be permitted to retain the contents of these messages until the incarcerated person is release bud they would be accessible only under limbed circumstances. the bill is supported by a wide
5:05 pm
variety of groups, including the american bar association, aclu, american for prosperity, due process institute, national action network, prison fellowship, right on crime, safe and freedom coalition, the federal public defenders and community defenders organization and so many others. i want to thank all the sponsors of this bill, most particularly representative van taylor,ierry nadler, tom mcclintock, don bacon, nancy mace and sheila jackson lee as well as dan crenshaw and dusty johnson. this has truly been a bipartisan journey. our criminal justice system depends on the own-client privilege to ensure protection and i urge my colleagues to vote yes on h.r. 546. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. bishop: madam speaker, i have no further speakers nesm
5:06 pm
gentlelady is ready to close, we are ready to do that. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you, madam speaker. i wanted to say, my compliments to the gentleman from new york in pursuing this bill and the things he spoke to about the presumption of innocence and the right to counsel. among those sacred core rights that our constitution guarantees to every individual in country. this important, bipartisan bill is preservative of that. that is what we do in this chamber. that is what this congress should always do. so my compliments to the gentleman from new york. and the co-sponsors on this piece of legislation. i encourage my fellow members to support it and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from texas veck newsed. -- is recognized. ms. jackson lee: madam speaker, let me thank the gentleman from
5:07 pm
north carolina for his collegiate response and his very important remarks on collaboration for important legislation like this. let me also thank the distinguished gentleman from new york for finding an achilles heel that would really and continues to upside mine the true sense of attorney client privilege and to respect that privilege where whether you're in custody or not and also recognizes the increasing utilization of the digital world to file briefs, to make arguments, we are now moving to extensive virtual court pr seedings and then of course to find that divide between those in custody, inmates, incarcerated, and those that are not in custody. as we well know, individuals in custody are making a number of efforts to prove their innocence, they're appealing, they're seeking new trials. they too have rights that should
5:08 pm
be respected under both the criminal code and the constitution. so again, i thank the gentleman for his thoughtfulness and all of the co-sponsors, bipartisan co-sponsors that you have. so madam speaker, h.r. 546 would ensure that the attorney-client privilege again is safeguarded in all commupe cases between criminal defendants and their attorneys. this bipartisan legislation addresses an issue that is essential to the fair administration of the criminal justice system during this ongoing pandemic, this measure has become even more urgent when there is even more reliance on electronic communications between attorneys and incarcerated individuals. for these reasons, i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bipartisan legislation. madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 546. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
5:09 pm
in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the -- for what purpose does the gentlewoman from georgia seek recognition? >> i request a roll call vote. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to section 3-s of house resolution 8, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postponed. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek
5:10 pm
recognition? ms. jackson lee: i have -- i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1192. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1192, a bill to impose requirements on the payment of compensation to professional persons employed in voluntary cases commenced urn title 3 of the puerto rico oversight management and economic stability act, commonly known as promesa. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, and the gentleman from north carolina, mr. bishop, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas. ms. jackson lee: i thank the speaker, thank madam speaker, and as i always do, let me thank the sponsor of this legislation for her leadership, the gentlelady from new york, and all of those who have supported this important leadership bill. i ask unanimous consent that all members have five ledge did --
5:11 pm
legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. jackson lee: the -- h.r. 1192, the puerto rico recovery act in disclosure act, prrada, would promote greater transparency in response though economic restructuring of puerto rico. in response to dire status of puerto rico, congress passed the puerto rico economic and stability act in 2016. that legislation established the financial oversight and management board with control over puerto rico's budget, laws, financial plans and regulations and the authority to retain professionals to assist the board in executing its responsibilities. though largely patterned on chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code, it did not incorporate all
5:12 pm
facets of chapter 11. importantly this includes the code's mandatory disclosure requirements regarding actual or potential conflicts of interest that professional persons seeking to be retained in a bankruptcy case must make to the court prior to their retention. this bill would close that loophole by conditioning the compensation of professional persons retained under promesca under certain disclosures similar to those required under bankruptcy code. additionally, the bill would require the united states trustee to review these disclosures and submit comments in response to the court and also authorize the united states trustee to object to compensation requested by the professionals. finally, h.r. 1192 would allow courts to deny the compensation for services and reimbursement of expenses if the professional person did not comply with the
5:13 pm
disclosure requirement, was not a disinterested person or represented or held in interest -- held an interest adverse to the bankruptcy estate. i thank ms. velazquez for her leadership in championing this bill and for her relentless dedication that we all have witnessed to ensuring that the people of puerto rico receive the fair, efficient, and transparent restructuring process they deserve. i urge my colleagues to support this bill which was passed out of the house last congress by a unanimous vote and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina. mr. bishop: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in support of the puerto rico recovery accuracy in disclosures act. in 2016, puerto rico was experiencing significant financial pressure brought on by siresable debt and related obligations. in response to puerto rico's financial crisis, congress
5:14 pm
enacted the puerto rico oversight management and economics stability act of 2016. the 2016 law established a bankruptcy mechanism for puerto rico to address its obligations. like the general bankruptcy law the 2016 law enables bankruptcy professionals like accountants, consultants and lawyers to apply for payment for their services upon court approval. but but the 2016 law omitted disclosure requirements that apply to compensated professionals urn the general bankruptcy code, title 11 of the bankruptcy code, pursuant to the federal rules of bankruptcy procedure. most significantly, the gap in the 2016 law created a potential for undisclosed compensation terms and undiscovered conflicts of interest vis-a-vis parties in interest for professionals serving in puerto rico's bankruptcy. to address this concern, this bill applies the disclosure
5:15 pm
requirements of rule 2014-a to professionals serving in connection with puerto rico's bankruptcy. and seeking compensation for those services. the bill also requires oversight of the disclosures that bankruptcy professionals make. this bill's disclosure and oversight requirements increased the likelihood that conflicts of interest will be caught and timely addressed before compensation decisions are made. taken as a whole this added transparency will benefit important interests such as those of creditors and taxpayers and ultimately of puerto rico itself. i encourage my colleagues to support this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas. . ms. jackson lee: it's my privilege to yield to the gentlelady from new york, ms. velazquez, the author of legislation, and also a champion, as this congress
5:16 pm
knows, during the trying and difficult times for our friends in puerto rico, her voice has been the most powerful in their advocacy, along with her wonderful colleague, the distinguished representative delegate from puerto rico, i yield to her four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. ms. velazquez: thank you, madam speaker. and let me thank the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee, for yielding. i rise in strong support of h.r. 1192. i was proud to introduce this bill with bipartisan support in the house. and i would like to take this opportunity to thank the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi, and chairman jerry nadler, for bringing this legislation to the floor. and to mr. bishop, the ranking member of the subcommittee. and to the senate for introducing a companion bill in the senate. the puerto rico recovery,
5:17 pm
disclosures act of 2021, eliminates a double standard currently facing puerto rico. under u.s. code and federal bankruptcy procedure, any conflicts of interest or even the perception of such conflict between those working on the bankruptcy and the debt are required to be disclosed. however, a loophole in the current law prevents this current requirement from being extended to the people of puerto rico. in 2016, congress passed the puerto rico oversight management and economic stability act, or promesa, to set up an orderly bankruptcy process to restructure its debt, stimulate economic development, and put the island on a path to financial recovery. this bill will extend current u.s. law, requiring disclosures
5:18 pm
of conflicts of interest to puerto rico and thereby improving transparency and restoring confidence on the island's future. puerto ricans should be confident that the board's bankruptcy advisors don't have their thumb on the scale, to favor certain debts they have a self-interest. this bipartisan bill ensures intreg rit of the promesa -- integrity of the promesa process. while we can have different opinions on how effectively the oversight board is carrying out its mission, one thing should be clear, the island's residents should be entitled to the same rights and protections of any debtor on the mainland. once more, i'd like to thank chairman nadler, the staff, and the bipartisan co-sponsors of the bill. i strongly encourage all members to vote on this critical piece of legislation, and i also would
5:19 pm
like to recognize the gentlelady from puerto rico, ms. gonzalez colon, who is the -- miss gonzalez-colon, who is the co-sponsor of the bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentlewoman from texas reserves. and the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you, madam speaker. it's my privilege to yield five minutes to the gentlewoman from puerto rico, miss gonzalez-colon. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from puerto rico is recognized. miss gonzalez-colon: i thank you for yielding. good afternoon, madam speaker. i rise in support of the puerto rico recovery disclosures act, h.r. 1192. representatives velazquez and myself have proposed this bipartisan initiative in the last two congresses. having achieved passage in the house during the last session. and i thank congress -- and i think congresswoman velazquez is thoughtful on how important this bill is. we support this bill. as an important component in
5:20 pm
ensuring the restructuring process under promesa. it looks out for puerto rico's interest. this legislation requires any counsel and professional person that the financial oversight board may hire to work on title 3, restructuring puerto rico's debt, to submit verified disclosures with their connection with the debtor, creditor, or the person employed by the oversight board prior to being compensated. it extends the same requirements about the hiring of personnel for the restructuring as are imposed on such personnel under existing bankruptcy rules. i think it's important to have the same kind of rules for those people that will be managing, as we speak, those kind of negotiations. our intention is not to exclude any people with expertise and knowledge about puerto rico's fiscal transactions being
5:21 pm
resources during this restructuring process but i think it's essential that in any such connection be clear and known so that such person's qualifications and the role they're going to be playing can be better elevated. conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest can be best avoided if there is accountability and transparency during the process. this bill would allow that to happen. it will require that such personnel must disclose in detail their participation and involvement with any entity involved in the issuance of puerto rico's debt and in any claims involving puerto rico's debt in forming the identity of each one. anyone that's serving on the board -- and i repeat -- anyone who is serving on the board, working to inform its decision or representing it before the title 3 court must have the trust of all parties that they
5:22 pm
are committed to defending the interests of puerto rico to the best of their ability in accordance to the law and justice. a lack of transparency in personnel decisions creates a lack of confidence and distrust. learning that someone was involved in businesses of one of the parties in the case only after they are named and working on the case does not create assurance of their commitment to the best interest of puerto rico or even managing the debt. our goal must be able to that we no longer needs promesa and the board and we rebuild our economy and provide for growth. but until that happens, we must demand that those instruments created by promesa be accountable and transparent in their processes. anything else should be
5:23 pm
unacceptable. that's why this bill is important. and i ask my colleagues to support and pass this bill. i say thank you to the congresswoman from new york, ms. velazquez, for this bill, and allowing this initiative to be a bipartisan one. with that i thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. is the gentleman prepared to close? mr. bishop: i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the gentlewoman from puerto rico. thanks to the gentlelady from texas and from new york. i urge my colleagues to support the bill, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i thank you, madam speaker. let me indicate, again, this is a very vital initiative to continue to help in puerto rico's recovery. let me thank the gentlelady from new york for her leadership and, of course, the gentlelady from puerto rico. this partnership and bipartisan collaboration with the other
5:24 pm
co-sponsors is very crucial as we continue to work as a congress to do our job for the people of puerto rico. h.r. 1192 closes a loophole under current law by establishing disclosure requirements regarding actual or potential conflicts of interest into the bankruptcy process under promesa. in doing so, this legislation promotes transparency and accountability in the puerto rico restructuring process. again, i thank my colleague, ms. velazquez of new york, the author of the bill, for her leadership on this issue, mr. nadler and his work, and i strongly urge my colleagues to support this commonsense measure. this, of course, along with the gentlelady from puerto rico, is helping the people of puerto rico, our neighbors, and our fellow americans. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1192. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
5:25 pm
in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- for what purpose does the gentlewoman from georgia seek recognition? mrs. greene: i ask for a roll call vote. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postponed. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until
5:26 pm
c-span was created by america's television -- cable television companies in 1979. today we are brought to you by these cable television companies who provide c-span as a public service to viewers. here's a look at our primetime schedule on the c-span networks. starting at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c span, the confirmation hearing for javier becerra to become the
5:27 pm
next health and human services secretary. at 8:00 p.m. on c span 2, testimony from federal reserve chair jerome powell on the semiannual monetary policy report. and on at 8:00 eastern on c-span3, american history tv with programs and interviews on the manhattan project. >> this is c-span's new online store at c-spanshop.org. with the 117th congress in session we're take preg orders for the congressional directory. every c-span shop purchase helps support c-span's nonprofit. shop today at c-spanshop.org. >> president biden and susan rice took part in a virtual discussion today with black essential workers including a

38 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on